is a 1937 patriotic composition by Puerto Rican composer Rafael Hernández Marín.
In 1937, Hernández Marin wrote “Preciosa“, while in Mexico. Years later, in 1947, he returned to Puerto Rico and became orchestra director at the government-owned WIPR Radio.
His music became an important part of Puerto Rican culture.
Hernandez formed Cuarteto Victoria (Victoria Quartet) with Pedro Ortiz Dávila, Rafael Rodríguez, and Franciso López Cruz with whom he recorded the song. A Puerto Rican group led by Manuel A. Jiménez (“Canario”) recorded Hernández’s Preciosa, which, together with Lamento Borincano became unofficial national anthems of Puerto Rico.
Preciosa expressed feelings of love and nostalgia for Puerto Rico but also the discontent regarding the poor economy prevalent on the island at the time. The work was an idealistic view of the people of Puerto Rico in terms of traits of Hispanic and Indian traditions but missing the African dimension.
The song made reference to a tyrant who ruled Puerto Rico and it became a favorite song of autonomist patriotism.
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As noted, this song was written in 1937. During this time, the Island was going through tough political times. There was the sense that Puerto Rico was ruled by a “distant tyrant” who made its present markedly felt in daily island life.
The lyrics speak about the island’s enchantments, its culture, its people, its pride, its stolen identity.
It’s ironic to note that this song applies perfectly to the current economical and political situation that Puerto Rico is experiencing.
The “tyrant” long spoken about is still there. As a matter of fact, it never left.
History repeats itself.
As I listened to this song and watched the awesome video today, I experienced the “chill factor”.
I had goosebumps as I felt my pride swell and my heart beat faster.
I am Puerto Rican and I will always be, no matter where I live.